The benefits of childhood reading reach far beyond entertainment.

According to a recent study, reading for pleasure is more important for children’s cognitive development than their parents’ level of education and is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background.

Literacy has also been found to have a relationship with depression. A 2013 survey revealed that 36 per cent of those with low literacy were found to have depressive symptoms, compared to 20 per cent of those with the highest levels of literacy.

Now residents of Manchester are being urged to do their bit to help improve children’s literacy by donating a book to a child who needs it.

Gift Of Books is a new campaign aiming to get the printed word into the hands of children who have never owned a book, and donations are now open in Manchester.

The campaign, a joint partnership between the National Literacy Trust and Stockport business cartridgesave.co.uk, was launched following research earlier this year that revealed 40,000 schoolchildren throughout Greater Manchester don’t own a single book of their own.

Twelve collection points are currently accepting donations across the region, allowing local book lovers to share their love of reading.

The donated books will then be redistributed to children across the region who attend schools identified by the National Literacy Trust as being in deprived areas where low levels of literacy are seriously impacting on people’s lives.

Books have already started to be redistributed to the children at schools across Greater Manchester, including Crossacers Primary School, Barlow Hall Primary School and Gorse Hill Primary School.

“We are looking to change the future of school children in Greater Manchester one book at a time by calling on the surrounding areas of the city to help us donate as many books as possible,” says Ian Cowley, managing director of campaign organisers cartridgesave.co.uk.

“It is simply wrong that in 2018 so many children have don’t own a single book, a clear sign of imbalance in our society. This spring we hope that the simple act of sharing the book that made a difference to your childhood will make a critical difference in the lives of the most disadvantaged.”

To take part, just find your nearest collection point and simply drop your gift off, with a printed note explaining why you enjoyed it so much.

Schools, local groups and community centres in Manchester can also register as a collection point by filling in the sign-up form.

FIND A COLLECTION POINT